The Army’s physical fitness training field manual received its first update in eight years. FM 7-22 Holistic Health and Fitness makes new approaches to the conduct of warfighting. It also includes guidance on the importance of journaling, finding your energy pathways, and yes taking naps. This is in stark contrast to the usual gung ho Army teaching of the past.
Some of the new instructions to leaders include, “Give Soldiers permission to nap when circumstances allow, and encourage naps when appropriate, especially during continuous operations.” Furthermore its says, “Naps will improve alertness and performance.”
Additionally, the new manual encourages a safe environment to sleep, even while training. FM 7-22 states “Soldiers can use short, infrequent naps to restore wakefulness and promote performance.”
The new update addresses the importance of comfort while sleeping. Likewise, it even covers optimal sleeping temperature. The Army stating, “Room temperature should be cool, ranging from 65–72 ºF.” Many of us never expected that to be a sentence we would read in our lifetime. However, it may be motivation for the Army to finally fix heating and air conditioning in the barracks.
What if you cannot fall asleep? Well the army has you covered. The publications says, “Use an app. There are hundreds of apps for sleep and relaxation, which may help Soldiers fall asleep and track sleep.”
Pillars of readiness
However, the new doctrine is not all about apps and naps. It also addresses things like meditating, prayer and chanting. The 244 page manual covers several dozens of topics relating to a soldier’s overall well being. It also covers how leaders are expected to achieve these goals. The doctrine holds five important pillars of readiness. These are:
- Mental readiness
- Physical readiness
- Nutritional readiness
- Sleep readiness
- Spiritual readiness
We at American Grit love naps, and fully support the taking of them. What do you think of the new direction this Army doctrine takes? Sound off in the comments below!